Archive for May 16, 2014


INDIANAPOLIS (May 16, 2014) — Ed Carpenter, in his own No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet, laid down the quickest lap of the month, during a brief break in the rainy weather here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on “Fast Friday”.

Carpenter became the first driver since Scott Dixon in 2003 to top the 230 mph mark in Indianapolis 500 practice with his speed of 230.522 mile per hour and won the  $10,000. F.E. Harding Asphalt Corporation “Fast Friday” Lap of the Day Award.

For “Fast Friday” practice, IndyCar teams utilized the Verizon IndyCar Series’ mandated boost level increase from 130 kPa to 140 kPa.  They will continue with the higher boost levels throughout the 2-day weekend qualifications; Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18.  The change in pressure adds an estimated 40-horsepower boost to the engines produced by Chevrolet (twin-turbocharged Chevy IndyCar V6) and Honda (twin turbo-charged Honda HI14TT).  Boost levels will return to 130 kPa for final practice on Coors Light Carb Day on Friday, May 23 and the 500-mile race on Sunday, May 25.

Carpenter addressed the increase in boost by saying: “You can definitely feel the speed difference with the added horsepower now.  They never give us the horsepower numbers.  It’s a graph to show what they have added for qualifying trim. It is fun when you are going fast.”


Four different teams were represented in the top five, seven entries posted a lap speed above 229 mph, and 10 more bettered the month’s previous best of 227.166 mph set a day earlier by three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet.

Castroneves was second fast (229.843 mph) in the session. Marco Andretti was third (229.419) in the No. 25 Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport, while Carpenter’s teammate, JR Hildebrand, was fourth (229.384) in the No. 21 Preferred Freezer Services Chevrolet and Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing was fifth (229.276).

On the day, the 19 minute-long session, was all the practice the teams could get in because of the cold, windy and rainy conditions throughout the afternoon.

Rank Car Driver Name C/E/T Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Total Laps
1 20 Carpenter,Ed D/C/F 00:39.0418 230.522 –.—- –.—- 5 8
2 3 Castroneves,Helio D/C/F 00:39.1571 229.843 0.1153 0.1153 7 9
3 25 Andretti,Marco D/H/F 00:39.2296 229.419 0.1878 0.0725 3 4
4 21 Hildebrand,JR D/C/F 00:39.2355 229.384 0.1937 0.0059 4 8
5 67 Newgarden,Josef D/H/F 00:39.2540 229.276 0.2122 0.0185 5 6
6 2 Montoya,Juan D/C/F 00:39.2662 229.205 0.2244 0.0122 3 7
7 9 Dixon,Scott D/C/F 00:39.2907 229.062 0.2489 0.0245 8 11
8 28 Hunter-Reay,Ryan D/H/F 00:39.3695 228.603 0.3277 0.0788 3 7
9 77 Pagenaud,Simon D/H/F 00:39.3798 228.544 0.3380 0.0103 2 8
10 98 Hawksworth,Jack (R) D/H/F 00:39.4432 228.176 0.4014 0.0634 4 6


The first round of qualifications will take place Saturday from 11 a.m.-5:50 p.m. (ET), with the 33 starting positions, including the Verizon P1 Award, determined May 18

Qualifying gets underway Saturday at 11 a.m. and runs until 5:50 p.m. for spots in the 33-driver field. On Sunday, the pole position and the entire field will be determined including the electrifying “Fast Nine Shootout” from 1-3 p.m.  Carpenter captured the 2013 pole in a late run in the Fast Nine Shootout.

Saturday qualifying format is as follows:

* All entries are guaranteed one attempt to qualify between 11 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.

* Fastest 33 cars make up the provisional field for the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race based on the fastest four-lap average time.

* All 33 cars must re-qualify on Sunday to determine final starting positions.

* The fastest nine cars advance to a shootout on Sunday to determine the Verizon P1 Award.

Complete Indy 500 Practice Timesheet … Click Here 

Photos Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway & Indycar


Indianapolis – Jonathan Byrd’s Racing is excited to announce two time USAC National Sprint Car Champion, two time USAC National Midget Champion, three time USAC National Driver’s Champion, two time National Midget Driver of the Year, and 2012 Indy 500 starter Bryan Clauson as the driver of the Jonathan Byrd’s IndyCar beginning with the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2015.

BC Chili Bowl VictorySpeaking to that announcement, Bryan Clauson said: “I’m extremely excited to be headed back to the Indy 500. Getting back on track at IMS is something I’ve been working toward since the end of the 2012 race, and I can’t thank the Byrd family enough for giving me this opportunity. The Byrd family has a tremendous history not only at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but also among the short track community as well. To add my name to an impressive list of Jonathan Byrd’s racing drivers that includes guys like Rich Vogler and Stan Fox is an honor. With what I learned from my previous Indy 500 experience, along with a full year to prepare, I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.”

Jonathan Byrd II, elder son of the late Jonathan Byrd, added: “Not only is Bryan going to be our Indy 500 driver next year, it’s our intention that he be our Indy 500 driver for the next 15 years. He is a great fit for our brand, and we hope to be in the BC business for many years to come. In addition to Bryan driving the Jonathan Byrd’s IndyCar, we will also be supporting him in all of his racing efforts, and look forward to seeing him continue his winning ways and ‘parking it right down in the circle’ time and again while wearing the Jonathan Byrd’s logo. Amazingly, Bryan is scheduled to race more than 130 times in 2014, and we want to see him continue doing that for years to come. With his seven USAC championships and fifty-five career USAC wins at the ripe old age of twenty-four, Bryan is a throwback to Rich Vogler, which increases our level of excitement that much more. We have little doubt that he will add the title of ‘Indy 500 Champion’ to his resume.”

Clauson InterviewVirginia “Ginny” Byrd talked about the decision to return to Indy a year earlier than had been previously announced: “Though we had originally intended to return for the 100th running of the Indy 500 in 2016, which would also have been the 20th anniversary of our track record with Arie, the announcement of our plans was met with such enthusiasm in so many different ways and from so many different directions, we decided that it did not make any sense to wait until 2016 and that we needed to move our program forward by a year.”

Ginny continued, saying “The Indy 500 has been such a big part of the identity of our family and of the Jonathan Byrd’s brand. With the recent changes to our restaurant operations, along with the plans and programs that we are putting in place for the present and future of Jonathan Byrd’s, we decided that we needed to revisit that identity even sooner and go ahead and take the necessary steps a year ahead of what we had planned so we could once again tie ourselves to the biggest event in the world. These are exciting time for us, as we intend to grow the Jonathan Byrd’s restaurant, banquet, and catering brand here in central Indiana. Our presence here at Indy is going to be a key component of that growth, which is why we came to realize that we needed to be back in 2015. I’m really happy that we’re coming back with a popular and super talented Indiana kid like Bryan, which just makes it that much more fun!”

David Byrd, younger son of the late Jonathan Byrd, added “When we decided that it was time for us to return to Indy, Bryan was the first, last, and only driver we even considered. We went to him a couple of months ago, told him our plans, and said ‘we want you, are you in?’ Not only does his resume speak for itself, but everybody knows that Bryan was extremely fast right out of the box when he ran the 500 as a rookie in 2012. It’s an honor to have him drive for us, and I’m very happy that we’re not going to have to wait another two years to see him in action. We fully expect him to be quick again, and we’re going to give him all of the resources that he needs to run up front and compete to win. We’ll be ready to compete on the opening day of practice in 2015, as we have entered into an exciting partnership with an existing IndyCar team to create the Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Indy 500 entry for BC. We will be making a joint announcement in regards to that partnership in the very near future.”

The 2015 Indianapolis 500 will be the 10th anniversary of the most recent Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Indy 500 entry with Buddy Lazier in 2005. It will also mark the 30th anniversary of the first Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Indy 500 entry with Rich Vogler in 1985.

—   Jonathan Byrd’s Racing History  —

Jonathan Byrd’s Racing was founded by the late Jonathan Byrd in 1982, and traces its roots to the Indianapolis Speedrome, where it found immediate championship-winning success.  From there, the Jonathan Byrd’s team spread its wings to begin competing on short tracks across the country.  While continuing its winning ways on the short tracks of America, Jonathan Byrd’s Racing made the leap to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  In its various forms,  Jonathan Byrd’s Racing has successfully fielded 17 entries in the Indianapolis 500 beginning in 1985, scoring 6 top ten finishes, with a best finish of 5th in 2005.  The roster of Jonathan Byrd’s Racing Indy 500 drivers includes Rich Vogler (‘85,’86,’87,’88 & ’89), Stan Fox (‘91,’92), Gordon Johncock (‘91), Buddy Lazier (‘91,’05), Scott Brayton (‘93), John Andretti (‘94), Davy Jones (‘95), Arie Luyendyk (‘96), Mike Groff (‘97,’98), and Jaques Lazier (‘01).  A Jonathan Byrd’s Racing car currently holds the all-time Indianapolis 500 1 7 4 lap qualifying records (Luyendyk ’96).  Jonathan Byrd’s Racing has won 2 IndyCar races (Luyendyk – Phoenix ’96, Paul Jr – Texas ’98), along with 2 United States Auto Club National Midget Championships (’86,’87), and numerous regional & short-track championships in both midget racing and late model stock cars.  Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, along with its partner teams, was responsible for the first ever “double” in 1994, when John Andretti raced in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the same day. 

— Bryan Clauson: Career Highlights — 


•  Won USAC National Sprint Car Series championship.

•  Won seven USAC National Sprint car events, earned 21 top-five and 30 top-10s in 33 starts.

•  Won first Indiana Sprint Week crown.


•  Won USAC National Sprint Car Series championship.

•  Seven-time winner in 34 USAC National Sprint Car Series events.

•  Won USAC Eastern Storm Speedweek Points title.

•  For the third consecutive season, he earned the USAC National Drivers Champion title.

•  Made starting grid for Indy 500 driving the No. 39 Sarah Fisher Hartman/Curb Agajanian Honda; finished 30th after a spin early in the race.

•  Earned 2012 First-Team All-American by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association.


•  Earned the USAC National Drivers Champion title.

•  Won his second USAC National Midget Series championship, winning five times in 21 starts.

•  Winner of the Indiana Midget Week title.

•  Raced six times in the Indy Lights series in 2011, driving the Sam Schmidt Motorsports No. 77 Road to Indy/Curb Records-sponsored Dallara.  His best finish was a third place in the Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway.

•  Made eight USAC Silver Crown starts in 2011, earning two top-three finishes.

•  Won the inaugural USAC National Drivers Championship, earning a $300,000 scholarship to compete in the Indy Lights series with Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

•  Was named to the 2011 All-American Auto Racing Team by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association first-team.


•  Won the USAC National Midget Car Series championship.

•  Finished third in the 2010 USAC National Sprint Car Series championship, winning three races.

•  Finished fourth in the 2010 USAC Silver Crown Series.

•  Was named 2010 Rookie of the Year in the USAC Silver Crown Series division.

•  Won six USAC National Midget Car Series events en route to the 2010 title.

•  Won his first career USAC Silver Crown Series feature event Sept. 25, 2010 at Eldora Speedway .

•  Won several high-profile USAC Midget Car Series events in 2010, including the Hut Hundred on May 8, the Belleville Midget Nationals on Aug. 7 and the Turkey Night Grand Prix on Nov. 15.

•  His Turkey Night Grand Prix victory was his second consecutive event triumph in as many years.

•  Won two International Midget Car Series features at Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand.

•  Was named to the 2010 All-American Auto Racing Team by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association first-team for the first time in his career.


•  Named Hoosier Racing Fan Club Driver of the Year and the National Midget Driver of the Year.

•  In 2009, won more than 20 races in USAC National Sprint Car Series and USAC National Midget Series competition, including  the Indiana Midget Week Championship, the Hall of Fame Classic, the Night Before the Brickyard at Lucas Oil Raceway, the Turkey Night Grand Prix and the Glenn Howard Memorial.

•  Finished second in the USAC Indiana Sprint Week.


•  Runner-up to Landon Cassill for Rookie of the Year honors in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

•  Scored a top-five Nationwide Series finish at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta in June 2008 and a sixth-place finish in the season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

•  Qualified on the pole in the Nationwide Series race in July 2008 at Daytona.


•  Scored an ARCA Series win in 2007 at Gateway International Raceway and added three more top-five finishes in six starts driving for the Ganassi team.


•  Youngest driver to sweep the high banks of USAC competition, winning at both Salem & Winchester Speedways

•  By winning both Midget and Sprint Car features in August 2006 at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, he became the youngest driver to sweep a USAC Midget/Sprint doubleheader weekend.

•  Youngest Sprint Car National Feature winner in USAC history, winning in April ’06 at Winchester Speedway.

•  USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year in 2006.


•  Signed with the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Driver Development Program.

•  Youngest Midget National Feature winner in USAC history, winning Oct. ’05 at Columbus Motor Speedway.


•  Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway and Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway Rookie of the Year.

•  Winner of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Wildcard Award in 2004.


•  North American Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Kenyon Midget National Champion in 2003.

•  Won Kokomo Speedway Sprint Car Rookie of the Year honors in 2003.


•  NAMARS Kenyon Midget Series Rookie of the Year.


•  Camden (Tenn.) Speedway Rookie of the Year.


• Indiana Quarter Midget State Champion.


• California Quarter Midget State Champion.

Release Information & Photo Courtesy of the Jonathan Byrd Racing and the  Indianapolis Motor Speedway 

HOF Museum

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, May 16, 2014 – The five 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored on Thursday night, May 22, as part of the annual Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers dinner at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis are as diverse as any class in recent history. And with A.J. Foyt being recognized for not only his four Indianapolis 500 wins but his win 50 years ago in the 1964 Indy 500, it is sure to be an exciting and memorable evening.

The five 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees are Chip Ganassi, Jimmy McElreath, Leo Mehl, Bobby Rahal and Bill Simpson. The first induction class was recognized in 1952, and there are now 148 members in this elite fraternity. The Auto Racing Hall of Fame is located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

Ganassi drove in the Indianapolis 500 five times with a best finish of eighth in 1983.  He is best known at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as an owner, a role in which he has visited Victory Lane five times — as co-owner with U.E. “Pat” Patrick when Emerson Fittipaldi took the checkered flag in 1989 and as owner of Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), Scott Dixon (2008) and Dario Franchitti (2010 and 2012).

Ganassi has also been successful as an entrant in NASCAR and long distance sports car racing, winning the 24-Hours of Daytona five times through 2013. With his 2011 victory in that event that followed wins in the 2010 Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400, Ganassi was therefore able to claim all four iconic events within a 12-month period.

McElreath drove in the Memorial Day Classic 15 times between 1962 and 1980 with a best finish of third in 1966. McElreath also earned six top-six finishes at the Speedway. In his debut at IMS in 1962, he started seventh and finished sixth on the way to earning Rookie of the Year honors. In 1970 he made Indy-car history by winning the inaugural Ontario 500 driving for A.J. Foyt. He also won the first two races at Langhorne after it was paved in 1965, as well as the spring races at Trenton in 1965 and Phoenix in 1966.

Mehl is best known for his 37 years with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company — with the last 17 as worldwide director of racing, overseeing Formula One, NASCAR, USAC, CART, SCCA, IMSA, European motorcycle racing, AMA and drag racing, just to name a few. From 1997 to 1999, he was executive director of the Indy Racing League.

Rahal belongs to an elite group at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – as both a winning driver (1986) and owner (2004 with Buddy Rice). In his 13 “500” starts, he compiled the win in 1986 with a runner-up finish (1990) and two third-place finishes (1994 and 1995). Rahal also won championships in 1986, 1987 and 1992. In road racing, he won several SCCA titles, competed in the Can-Am series and European Formula Two, and shared the winning car in the 24-Hours of Daytona (1981) and the 12-Hours of Sebring (1987).

Simpson had one Indianapolis 500 start in 1974 and finished 13th, but what he is best known for is his safety innovations that have protected countless drivers and saved lives over the past 40 years at Indianapolis and all forms of motorsports. He is probably best remembered for setting himself on fire to show the safety of his Nomex firesuits.

The first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, Foyt will also be honored during the evening’s ceremonies.  Foyt came to IMS as a rookie in 1958 and ran his last “500” in 1992 after amassing 35 consecutive starts. In 1999, Foyt was Kenny Brack’s winning car owner.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of Foyt’s 1964 win – the final win by a front engine roadsters.

A very limited number of tickets for the event are still available. If interested, contact Ellen Bireley (317) 492-6784.

Release Information & Photo Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Hinch ClearedVerizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe, who was diagnosed with a concussion resulting from an incident during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10, was cleared to resume driving duties after being re-evaluated May 15 by the INDYCAR medical team.

Hinchcliffe passed the post-concussion ImPACT  test, according to INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger, one of the elements required to be cleared to return to the racetrack in an Andretti Autosport-prepared car.

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the most-widely used and most scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. All Verizon IndyCar Series drivers complete the ImPACT test, which includes medical history and six modules, before the season to provide a baseline.

Hinchcliffe retook the neurocognitive test section, which includes verbal recognition memory, design memory, visual processing speed, symbol matching, color matching and three-letter memory.

E.J. Viso, who competed for the team in 2013, filled in for Hinchcliffe in practice for the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 11-15 in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car. Viso, who topped the speed chart May 13 (224.488 mph), logged 250 laps on the 2.5-mile oval before a mid-afternoon engine change was required, which delayed Hinchcliffe’s return to the car. He took one installation lap and is looking forward to being in the car for the six-hour session May 16.

“It’s been a long couple of days sitting at home and not even really watching. I was banned from electronics and I was getting little updates and snippets here and there, and that made it tougher because you don’t know exactly what’s going on,” said Hinchcliffe, 27, of Toronto. “But I knew everyone was running and I was sitting at home.

“Getting better was the No. 1 goal and the effort we put into that is paying off because we ever surprised the doctors with how quickly we’ve been able to come back. All of the testing has been good and everything we’ve done is pointing in the right direction, so I’m feeling good. I woke up Sunday with a little bit of a headache, but other than that, not bad at all. I did a really intense day of resting, which is kind of an oxymoron, but a lot of sitting around. My girlfriend (Kirsten Dee) and my sister (Rebecca) and my family were there and they took really good care of me and made sure I didn’t have to lift a finger.”

Hinchcliffe, who has three victories in 54 Verizon IndyCar Series starts, was cleared May 13 to begin light training.

“By Monday, I was feeling myself. I felt 100 percent,” he added. “We knew we needed to take time and make sure. Wednesday I just went lightly to make sure my head was fine with the heart rate and this morning I got back in the gym and working a little harder and got that heart rate threshold up to where it would be in the car and everything was great.

“I did some reaction training and I was on the upper end of average of the previous runs and then came (to the Speedway) for the ImPACT Test. That was the toughest thing knowing it was kind of make or break and seeing everyone driving. It was the first time I’d been here for any on-track activity and it was tough to watch but it’s all come good.

“I really want to thank everyone at INDYCAR Safety, INDYCAR Medical and IU Health for their great care. Also, to Jim Leo with PitFit Training for helping with the rehabilitation, and, of course, a big thanks to E.J. and the team for all the hard work during practice. The car looks fast and I can’t wait to get out there and get up to speed.”

Data & Photo Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway


Three-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Helio Castroneves liked what he felt and saw from the new Chevrolet engine installed for practice May 15 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Castroneves topped the session, which was delayed 45 minutes at the start as crews dried the 2.5-mile oval from morning drizzle, with a lap 227.166 mph (39.6186 seconds) that was the fastest of the month.

——>>>  View Indianapolis 500 Practice 5 Results  

Thirty-three drivers, including the debut this month of first-year participant James Davison and 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, logged 2,516 laps.  James Hinchcliffe, who was diagnosed with a concussion resulting from an incident during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10, was cleared by INDYCAR to resume driving. The No. 27 United Fiber & Data car underwent a mid-afternoon engine change, which limited Hinchcliffe to one installation lap late in the session.

Four different teams were represented in the top five as drivers and teams began ramping up for “Fast Friday,” in which lap speeds are expected to climb if track and weather conditions are conducive, as a precursor to qualifying.  If you can’t be at the track, watch it on in conjunction with real-time Timing & Scoring.

Ed Carpenter, the 2013 Indy 500 pole sitter, was second fast (226.257 mph) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car, while Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader Will Power was third (225.899 mph) in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. Davison’s KV Racing Technology teammate, Townsend Bell, was fourth (225.484) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (225.340) was fifth in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.

Castroneves’ bright yellow No. 3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske car is one of many that has or will receive fresh Chevrolet or Honda engines for May 17-18 qualifications, which will be televised by ABC, and include an increase in turbo boost. The race is May 25. Full-season Verizon IndyCar Series entries are allotted four 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engines to cover the 18-race season, with a threshold of 2,500 miles between changes.

Davison, who competed in two Verizon IndyCar Series races last year, completed two of the three phases of the formal Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program in the No. 33 KV Racing Technology entry.

“I can go to bed resting easier knowing we got through our first day at IMS smoothly,” Davison said. “We now know what to expect, any anxiety has dried up and I am excited to continue working on our program. In terms of speed, we know where we’re at since we didn’t run in traffic or with a tow.” 

Lazier, driving the No. 91 Lazier Partners Racing car, registered 11 laps with a best of 218.277 mph.

“For me, it was much easier that being in the car last year,” said Lazier, who returned to the Speedway in 2013 after a four-year absence. “I’m enjoying starting the process with our engineering and the race car, and bottom line I’m just thrilled to be here.”

Data & Photo Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway